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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 24 (1909) - Contents
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    Ms 45, 1909

    A Message to the Responsible Men in the Southern Publishing Association

    Washington, D. C.

    June 3, 1907

    Previously unpublished. +NoteOne or more typed copies of this document contain additional Ellen White handwritten interlineations which may be viewed at the main office of the Ellen G. White Estate.

    A Message to the Responsible Men in the Southern Publishing Association:

    I have words to speak to Bro. I. A. Ford and to the workers in the publishing office in Nashville.24LtMs, Ms 45, 1909, par. 1

    It needs men of wisdom and talent to rightly conduct such a printing establishment as we have at Nashville. It is not wise to place men in office there who will selfishly grasp every advantage, even though such a course is causing distress to those with whom they are dealing. The man who, when occasion arises, will reveal a spirit of oppression, and who will bear down upon another because it is in his power to do this, is not the man whom the Lord can use to make manifest righteous principles. Such a one should not be left in an office of responsibility, to imperil by his influence and his example the welfare of others.24LtMs, Ms 45, 1909, par. 2

    I was shown that angels of God have witnessed the hardness of heart that has been manifested toward Edson White in his connection with the Southern Publishing Association. The Lord used Edson White to do a good work in the opening up of our work in the southern field. I have a history to unfold concerning this first work done in the South. The Lord is a God of mercy. He has marked how often Edson White has relieved by his means the necessities of the needy, and has performed acts of genuine mercy. Message after message has been given me for him, encouraging him in the task he had undertaken for the colored people. Again and again the Lord said, If he will walk humbly with Me, I will be with him. I will help him and strengthen him.24LtMs, Ms 45, 1909, par. 3

    The Lord has allowed trials to come to Edson. He has made mistakes and become embarrassed financially. Then he needed the sympathy and help that should have been granted to any other who was placed in similar circumstances. He needed to come in connection with those who were possessed of Christlike sympathy, who, in dealing with one in distress, would exercise compassion. But he did not receive this. Had the positions of Edson White and Irving Ford been reversed, and Irving Ford been the man in distress, Edson White would not have revealed a heart of steel, but a heart of flesh. He would not have acted the unfeeling part that Brother Ford has acted, but would have made an effort to help him out of his difficulty.24LtMs, Ms 45, 1909, par. 4

    Brother Ford, I have seen that it is in you to be hardhearted and to take advantage of the unfavorable circumstances of others. In this you do not represent Christ. The sooner you are removed from the position you occupy, and another who has a converted heart and mind takes your place, the better it will be. Our offices of publication need no such representation as you have given. The Spirit of Christ that pities and sympathizes with the distressed should be cultivated by every worker in the office. You have made conditions as hard and trying as possible for Edson White. Light has been given me that unless our workers are guarded on the points on which you have erred, the office in Nashville will be a place where the honor of God cannot abide.24LtMs, Ms 45, 1909, par. 5

    I have been instructed that the converting power of God needs to come into the office at Nashville. The wrongs that have been done in taking advantage of Edson White need to be corrected, and in the place of the wrongs that have existed, righteous actions are to prevail. Every unjust bargain that has been made, every unfair advantage of circumstances that has been taken will have to be set right. Those who will not reform, who refuse to conform their actions to the principles of truth and righteousness, should not be retained in the office to spoil the record that we should be careful to preserve. The Lord will not prosper those who take advantage of the adverse circumstances of their fellows in any respect. Those who persist in dealing unjustly should have no part in the work of the office.24LtMs, Ms 45, 1909, par. 6

    The danger of such a course of action as has been revealed is that men will spoil the representation that should be made of the publishing work. The Nashville publishing house should stand as a representation of justice and mercy and the love of God. It is an easy matter to profess the faith, but is another thing to carry out in the life the living principles of truth. I hope that those who have worked to hold Brother Ford in a position of responsibility will see that his course has brought reproach upon the work and has given to the workers in the office an example that is dishonoring to God. The reputation of the office must not be spoiled by one who does not have God in his dealings with others. It is not wise to allow the interests of the publishing house to be jeopardized by the influence that has been molding the work there. Seek for a man to stand at its head who will do his duty as a manager, but who will not spoil the character of the work by bringing in false ideas and wrong principles. There are men professing to be wise who need to become fools in the judgment of the world in order to become wise in the judgment of God.24LtMs, Ms 45, 1909, par. 7

    The workers in the Nashville office have had a representation of what the human heart is capable of when it is not converted to the merciful principles of the gospel. No such spirit as has been manifested by Brother Ford should be tolerated in the work and cause of God. The men who labor in the office should be men who are connected with Christ and who are laborers together with God. None should be retained who are unconverted. In the lives of all should be seen a living power, and their actions should reveal the Spirit of Christ. Let none remain in the office who question their need of a personal Saviour and who cannot discern between the righteousness of Christ and a false righteousness. And those who are employed there should not be spoiled by the exhibition of an unchristian spirit on the part of the leading men. All need to be thoroughly converted. The workers need to experience a heart conversion; the soul temple needs to be cleansed and the heart open continually to an indwelling Saviour. Those who are converted, and upon whom the blessing of Christ is resting, will exert day by day an influence that will communicate light and blessing to others. The character will be formed according to the divine pattern, and the worker will know that he is one with Christ. When the workers in the office are men and women who daily draw near to God, they will not be slow to distinguish between sin and righteousness.24LtMs, Ms 45, 1909, par. 8

    Christ says to His followers, “Ye are the light of the world.” [Matthew 5:14.] Should our workers envelop their light in a thick covering of worldly policy? Should they seek for a scientific measurement as to how much light they can afford to give to others? I speak to every worker in the office: Live under the direct rays of the Sun of righteousness. Let every soul communicate light. Light is to be given to all who are in the house. The world is the house. Our great work is to reveal in our experience the true light in distinction from all other lights. We are to reveal Christ to the world, and thus reveal the Father.24LtMs, Ms 45, 1909, par. 9

    I speak words of warning to every worker in the office who has become tainted by wrong principles: Follow them not, for they lead away from the path were the voice of Jesus is heard, saying, This is the way; walk ye in it. We need no such example as has been given in the office at Nashville. There is a grand and noble work to be done by this people in this period of the world’s history. Let us recognize the leadings of the true Shepherd, and follow His instructions.24LtMs, Ms 45, 1909, par. 10

    On my recent journey to Washington I had an experience that is of great value to me. I visited many places, speaking to companies of our people. I had an important work to do that required all my strength. It was thought strange that while in Nashville I did not visit the Southern Publishing office. I could not do this for I had not been instructed by the Spirit of the Lord that the time had come for me to go there. I felt that when the Lord had a message for me to bear to the workers in the printing office, I should not hesitate to go there and give the message. But I had not had evidence that the time to do this had come.24LtMs, Ms 45, 1909, par. 11

    I could not visit the printing office and speak in its favor. I could not go there without bearing a testimony that would have been displeasing to the prominent workers. I should have had to tell them that the Lord condemned their manner of deal.24LtMs, Ms 45, 1909, par. 12

    The Lord permitted me to have a presentation of the way in which James Edson White had been dealt with. The sight that was opened before me was one that I never want to witness again. I saw the stubborn, unfeeling, unconverted heart in contrast with the heart that is yielding to the transforming grace of Christ. The hard, unfeeling spirit that the Lord has seen revealed has sorely displeased Him. Edson White was on the point of losing his reason. I was instructed that the Lord condemns all such manner of dealing, for it reveals an unwholesome Christian experience and sets before the workers an unchristian example. His rebuke is upon those who have acted a part in taking an unfair advantage of circumstances and of dealing unfairly in business transactions. When Edson White was in deepest trouble, advantages were taken that God has reproved. Agreements have been entered into by which advantage has been taken of one in distress. I was shown that such an example, and such agreements, were not justifiable under any circumstances. These trades were made at a time when Edson was under great pressure, and reason was tottering, and the enemy wrought upon human minds. The Lord calls such unjust dealing, such taking advantage of the distress of another, oppression of the worst degree. It is sin that the Lord cannot tolerate in any office where His work is being done. I was shown that unless the Lord had sustained Edson White in his troubles, he would have lost his reason.24LtMs, Ms 45, 1909, par. 13

    When Elder Butler took the position that he did in Nashville to sustain Brother Ford, he was not moving under the direction of the Holy Spirit. The office of manager should never have been urged upon Brother Ford. He should never have been sustained in his course of oppression in business deal. He has given an example that does not bear the commendation of heaven. If the head man in an office is a converted man, and is connected with Christ, he will be a living example of what every Christian should be—a laborer together with God. But if he will not walk in purity of soul, his example, which will be copied by others, will lead away from Bible principles.24LtMs, Ms 45, 1909, par. 14

    The cause of a brother should be treated with justice and mercy. All crooked work, all unjust dealing, all taking advantage of circumstances God condemns. Let there be a doing of righteousness. Let the unjust actions taken against J. E. White be corrected. All in the office who have taken advantage of his embarrassed circumstances to deal unjustly should learn to deal with others as they would like to be dealt with. Unless the workers look at these things in their true light, unless they learn to do justice and exercise a merciful spirit, the Spirit of God will be withdrawn from them.24LtMs, Ms 45, 1909, par. 15

    Let every line of work in the printing office stand pure and unadulterated by false principles. Let there be justice in deal. Let the wrongs that have existed be corrected. None of our printing offices can afford to allow evil to remain uncorrected. They cannot afford to deal in the way that Brother Ford has been dealing. There is to be a change in regard to these things and a repentance that needeth not to be repented of. There is a work to be done in the office that will cleanse it and refine and purify it.24LtMs, Ms 45, 1909, par. 16

    Let us remember that every act of injustice dealt out to others must be met again. “With what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” [Matthew 7:2.] God calls upon our institutions to learn the lesson of mercy and justice and the love of God. In some of our offices the learning of this lesson has been sadly neglected by some who profess to be doers of the Word.24LtMs, Ms 45, 1909, par. 17

    The Lord sums up the whole duty of man in the words: “Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” [Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14.] “But I say unto you, That every idle word that man shall speak, he shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” [Matthew 12:36, 37.]24LtMs, Ms 45, 1909, par. 18

    “And the times of this ignorance God winked at, but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent; because He hath appointed a day in the which He will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom He hath ordained; wherefore He hath given assurance to all men in that He hath raised Him from the dead.” [Acts 17:30, 31.]24LtMs, Ms 45, 1909, par. 19

    I am instructed to say to you, “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found; call ye upon Him while He is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy, and unto our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” [Isaiah 55:6, 7.]24LtMs, Ms 45, 1909, par. 20

    Human judgment does not decide any case. The Lord’s thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are His ways our ways. He is working through divine agencies to draw souls toward purity of service, toward mercy and justice. Who will be drawn? “The Lord hath said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judea. Only acknowledge thy wrong, and proclaim these words to the North, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord, and if thou repent I will not cause Mine anger to fall upon thee; for I am merciful, saith the Lord; and say to all that repent, I will not keep Mine anger forever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and hath scattered thy ways to strangers, and ye have not obeyed My voice, saith the Lord. If thou repent, I will not keep My anger forever. Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you. I will take one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion, and I will give you pastors according to My heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” [See Jeremiah 3:11-15.]24LtMs, Ms 45, 1909, par. 21

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